Fresh Sounds in the World of Bluegrass: July 2013

Al, Alice & Ruth, Let the Mountains Roll: Appalachian-flavored bluegrass trio Al White, Alice McLain White, and Ruth McLain Smith (Al, Alice & Ruth) play through covers and originals, spanning themes from love to loss. Harmonies abound and strong musicianship is felt throughout each song. 

(www.alaliceandruth.com)

Big Country Bluegrass, Memories of the Past: For a band who has been playing together for 26 years, traditional Big Country Bluegrass delivers a fresh array of new material, and twists on old classics. Poignant and pleasing, Memories stands out as a top notch hit for the group.

(www.bigcountrybluegrass.com, Rebel Records)

Ron Block, Walking Song: From singer, songwriter, producer and all-around bluegrass virtuoso comes the third album on Rounder Records from Ron Block. Co-writer Rebecca Reynolds adds even more depth in the 11 original songs on the 14 song album.

(www.ronblock.com, Rounder Records)

Shannon &Heather Slaughter & County Clare, One More Road: The debut album from Shannon & Heather Slaughter & County Clare shows off tight band chemistry as well as the band’s infectious harmonies. Rob Ickes on resonator guitar, Tina Steffey on clawhammer banjo, and Mike Johnson on pedal steel guitar give great support.

(www.countyclareband.com, Elite Circuit Music)

The New Kentucky Colonels, Live in Holland 1973: This album is a gem. It’s a never-before-heard concert tape of The New Kentucky Colonels (Roland, Eric and Clarence White and their good friend Herb Pedersen), recorded during a 1973 tour of Holland, and rediscovered after nearly 40 years. “Is This My Destiny” stands out, but all are a must-hear.

(www.rolandwhite.com, www.herbpedersen.com)

The Deadly Gentlemen, Roll Me, Tumble Me: The Rounder Records debut from The Deadly Gentlemen is a testament to their innovative song craft. Roll Me sees the quintet getting more playful, evocative, and inventive. Their intriguing individuality and boldness demonstrate a motive to think beyond genre borders ,while respecting and honoring traditional roots.

(www.deadlygentlemen.com, Rounder Records)

Donna Ulisse, I Am A Child Of God: Ulisse’s unique and powerful songwriting talents are brought out beautifully in this special gospel collection, with all but one original by Ulisse. What stands out among her messages of faith, love, redemption, and reflection are are Ulisse’s unwavering voice, consistently delivering emotion and truth. Sonya and Becky Isaacs add seamless harmony on “This is My Father’s World.”

(www.donnaulisse.com, Hadley Music Group)